Mayor-elect Tim Kelly outlines agenda for Chattanooga

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Chattanooga Mayor-Elect Tim Kelly is fresh off an electoral victory, in which he decisively defeated opponent Kim White.

Today, Mr. Kelly outlined his vision for Chattanooga over the next four years – and in light of recent events of police brutality, enacting local police reforms was on his to-do list.

Kelly says that he supports community policing, and will work closely with Chattanooga Police Chief David Roddy.

As far as his first order of business, Mr. Kelly says establishing a department of community health was at the forefront of his agenda.

He says that the city has already applied for a four million dollar grant to establish the department, and that it’ll be important to address disparities in community health even in post-pandemic times.

“I’m going to launch an office of community health to inform and implement the city of Chattanooga’s COVID-19 response efforts but also to address the longstanding racial disparities in health that existed long before this pandemic started. The city will quickly transition to a recovery plan that will jumpstart our economy and make sure that good jobs and economic opportunity remain the cornerstone of our economic development strategy,” says Kelly.

And with the number of Coronavirus vaccinations accelerating across the country, many live outdoor events and concerts are planning on reopening by the summer or fall.

This comes as the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival recently announced their lineup for a full-blown festival in Manchester, Tennessee this September.

Organizers for Chattanooga’s Nightfall and Riverbend Concert series have reportedly been waiting on the new mayoral administration to lay out guidelines on reopening.

Mr. Kelly told News 12 today that he plans on opening up fully, as long as Coronavirus cases do not spike in the near future.

“I think huge gatherings may be an issue so I think it’s a crawl, walk, run sort of thing but we will. The bias is going to be toward getting things open as soon as possible and again we’re going to look at the numbers and continue to follow the numbers and if we can do some more open events and not do a spike in cases and continue on the current trajectory of vaccinations, I don’t see why we can’t continue towards opening up fully.”

Kelly also indicated that he intends on following Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger’s lead regarding his decision to not renew the mask mandate at the end of this month.

Categories: Chattanooga, Elections, Featured, Government & Politics, Hamilton County, Local News